North Allegheny bests rival Seneca Valley to win WPIAL AAAA title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
North Allegheny starter Mitch Machi believed his pitches weren't the sharpest, but insisted he still had his best stuff.
That “stuff” would be NA's defense.
“That makes a huge difference. I'm so lucky to have a great infield and a great outfield making all of the plays for me,” said Machi, whose Tigers played error free behind him and turned two double plays to beat section rival Seneca Valley for the first time in seven tries with a 4-2 victory Wednesday night in the WPIAL Class AAAA championship.
The victory kept the two-time defending champion from adding a third consecutive crown. It also ended the Raiders' six-game winning streak against North Allegheny.
A few Seneca Valley miscues were costly.
“Typically, between us and them it's going to be close,” NA coach Andy Maddix said, “and whoever is better on that day is going to get it.”
The first two meetings this season were 3-2 victories by Seneca Valley.
Machi (7-0) allowed just four hits, including only two in the first six innings, to win his third start this postseason. He recorded 19 outs, but none were strikeouts.
Seneca Valley was trying to become the first WPIAL team to win three consecutive Class AAAA titles since the largest classification was added in 2005. Among all classes, only Pine-Richland (2004-06) and Allegheny High School (1917-22) of the North Side had ever won three straight.
Seneca Valley took a 1-0 lead in the second when Carson Kessler hit a leadoff double, reached third on Gianpaul Gonzalez's sacrifice bunt and scored on Zach Spangler's sacrifice fly to center.
North Allegheny scored twice in the bottom of the second and twice more in the fifth, helped along by Seneca Valley miscues.
In the second, NA right fielder Sean Fitzgerald and designated hitter Zach Woloszky each hit two-out singles. Machi loaded the bases when his swinging third strike bounced away from Seneca Valley catcher Brad Gresock and Machi beat the throw to first. With the bases loaded, Seneca Valley starter Connor Coward walked Brandon Bergstrom, forcing home Fitzgerald. A balk by Coward one batter later allowed Woloszky to also score.
In the fifth, North Allegheny used two sacrifice bunts to score. Bergstrom hit a leadoff double and James Meeker reached on an failed fielder's choice. A sacrifice bunt by Matt Waugaman allowed Bergstrom to score when Gresock's throw sailed into right field. A sacrifice bunt by Jimmy Divosevic scored Meeker.
Seneca Valley added a run in the sixth when center fielder Jonathan Dorogy walked, advanced two bases on a wild pitch, and scored on a groundout by Gresock. The Raiders tried to rally in the seventh with a pair of one-out singles, but NA reliever Jason Monper struck out both batters he faced to claim the victory.
Coward, who hadn't surrendered a postseason run, allowed four runs and five hits in five innings. The junior right-hander struck out seven and walked three.
Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers claim former Cowboys cornerback Webb
- Pirates notebook: Lambo called up to replace ailing Snider
- Secret judicial ruling blocks release of sexually explicit emails
- Saturday’s scouting report: Reds at Pirates
- S&P races to August milestone
- NFL notebook: Niners’ Smith gets 9-game suspension
- Missing Northview Heights girl found safe in school
- Penn State notebook: NCAA rebuts report of eased PSU sanctions
- With eyes on China, Japan seeks record defense budget
- Penn State kicks off Franklin era
- Steelers’ Rooney instrumental in bringing American football to Ireland